Bus firm told to reduce fleet

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A SOUTH Yorkshire travel firm has been ordered to halve its fleet after it was discovered children were being taken to school in a minibus which did not have an MoT.

Some drivers were also found to be working without the correct licence to carry passengers.

Deputy traffic commissioner Elizabeth Perrett made the ruling – which cuts the bus firms’s fleet from eight to four – after a public inquiry, which heard B Smart Travel Ltd, which operates from Shawfield Road, Barnsley, had flouted rules.

Directors Pamela Smart and Brian Smart appeared before Miss Perrett to respond to the findings of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

In July 2012, one of the company’s vehicles was checked at Green Acre School in Barnsley as children were leaving the bus.

During the inspection, the VOSA officer identified the driver did not hold the right class of licence to drive the vehicle and the bus’s MoT had expired the month before.

During the hearing, Miss Perrett was informed the firm had previously been investigated in 2011 for using a vehicle without a valid MoT and for employing a driver without the right type of licence to carry passengers.

But, Miss Perrett said, after hearing from the bus firm directors and transport manager Jennifer Hughes, she was satisfied their systems had now been tightened up.